There has been a lot of talk recently about how to be an ethical consumer. In the wake of the pandemic, we’re all more aware of the struggle businesses have been facing, and we’ve been encouraged by the media to think about how and where we source our goods and services. The advantages, both to individuals and the economy more generally, of buying from independent businesses has been a source of discussion. Many people are putting in the extra effort to ensure the products they buy are not from multi-national conglomerates, and possibly shipped from overseas; but instead, are from start-ups and small businesses with a more eco-friendly business model.
It is important that small, independent businesses, take advantage of this steep increase in public awareness. It is true that the current economic climate is more difficult for yet-to-be-established brands. Although the pandemic has certainly been exhausting, it has been heart-warming to see consumers show their support for independent businesses, rather than simply flocking to the nearest retail park at the first opportunity they get.
Small businesses need to take ownership of this spike in consumer goodwill. As we make our way into 2022, business owners will need to work harder to ensure that their brand stays in the spotlight, especially as the economy recovers. This is true of the leisure and hospitality sector, not just retail and customer services. To get customers in the front door is one thing; to make sure that they return, and that your business feels the effect of repeat service, is another. Of course, the tenets of good customer service and a clean, well-thought-out venue are priceless is such a situation. But as inflation rises and customers’ belts begin to tighten, you may start to feel the need for a little bit extra.
Stoking the fires of customer loyalty is harder than you’d think. However, there is a way that has been proven to favourably alter the customer experience. Loyalty schemes are an ideal way to keep your customers engaged after they leave your venue. If a customer is rewarded every time they make a payment, and they can see the material effects of their spending – whether they see their points going up or can access a voucher of some sort – they are more likely to return to your venue. By setting goals for your customers and keeping them entertained through the attainment of personalised deals, your customer will become hooked, for want of a better word. Not only will they spend more, but they’ll actively enjoy the time they “spend” in your venue.
The Booked it loyalty scheme has been engineered precisely to do just that. Using the Booked it loyalty scheme, customers connect their debit card to the app, and earn points with every transaction. This has been proven to increase both spend-per-head and total dwell time; these are two especially important factors if your business is to survive the economic climate. Furthermore, what separates the Booked it scheme from others is the fact that it all works through the customers’ choice of technology; there is no need for loyalty cards that are lost or become outdated. Our scheme is easy, fast, and the app can be downloaded on either iOS or Android, with either Visa or Mastercard.
This is the perfect way to take advantage of ethical consumerism. If you remind your customers that you are a small venue and point out that your loyalty scheme is a way you can support you, your customer will be happy to spend. To imbue a sense of goodwill in your customers is to keep them loyal. When your customers are happy to spend at your venue, they are more likely to come back. The pandemic has proven that; now it is time to reap the rewards.
Words by Rebecca Clayton
There is no longer any doubt that non-essential retail will open again next week. Whilst this is a relief, there is also a lot of added administrative strain on businesses hoping to maximise their sales, services, and customer satisfaction. With this in mind, it is imperative that your business put its best foot forward over the coming weeks. Here at Booked it, we have all the tools you need to make the most out of your time. Read on for our top five tips for reopening, safely and successfully.
- Mobile ordering app
Allowing your customers to order directly from their phone is a game-changer. Not only is it convenient and efficient, but it’s also an easy way to minimise contact between staff and customers, thereby keeping within government social distancing regulations. It is great for tech-savvy consumers, and it’s great for you too – using our technology, you will be able to manage orders all on one easily-accessible dashboard in real-time, integrate sophisticated and insightful CRM and marketing campaigns tailored to your customers, and enhance your customers’ experience by customizing the app with your own unique design and branding.
2. Online booking system
We offer the complete solution to manage all your bookings and reservations. With our app, you will be able to oversee bookings, manage capacity, and check guests in upon arrival. After your customers’ visit, our system enables you to generate automated emails and messages to encourage feedback and reviews. Furthermore, Booked it is an official reserve with Google partner, enabling your customers to buy tickets directly from your Google listing – this completely bypasses the chance of customers’ falling through that gap between seeing your listing and booking their next visit!
3. Ticket sales
When it comes to ticket sales, we have everything your business needs, all in one place. You can manage your entire event directly from our dashboard and Booked it manager app (for iOS and Android). Not only can you use the app to scan and approve attendees, get vital statistics in real-time, and integrate your event onto your customers’ social media platforms, but the interface is also easy on the eye. The ability to plan events thoroughly, to be able to engage with each guest, and understand what they are looking for on a night out, is going to take on an extra significance in the coming months.
Talking of things that have taken on an added significance of late, the cleanliness of your business should be at the forefront of your priorities. We know that you have always valued a clean, organised business space for both your staff and your customers, but we should all be chipping in and doing a little bit extra at the moment. Let technology take away some of that stress; by integrating Booked it and Licklist into your business, you can minimise contact between your staff and your customers, whilst also maintaining the same customer-centred business model that is so important. Organising your space to allow a safe and easy transition of customers and queues is also instrumental in ensuring the smooth reopening of your business. Increasing the availability of anti-viral cleansers, hand sanitisers, and protective screens, is also a must.
Last but most certainly not least, our clients love Booked it because it allows them to nurture loyalty amongst their customer base, thereby increasing their profits. The value of loyalty cannot be stated highly enough, especially in these challenging times. By allowing customers to collect point, connect their bank card with their app, and to personalise their experience on the app, you can increase their spend per head, increase dwell time, and keep them coming back for more. It has been shown in surveys and polls that consumers want to spend now more than ever, so be sure to take advantage of the increased demand for your services over the summer months.
So, there you have it – everything your business needs to succeed, in one simple checklist. Please visit our Solutions page to find out more about how we can help you, and our Pricing details to begin your journey with Booked it today.
Words by Rebecca Clayton
Christmas parties, office lunches, early finishes at the pub; it’s little wonder that most hospitality venues take in at least 60% of their annual income during the festive season in a regular year. A good Christmas can see you through the bleaker months of January to March, but before you write Christmas 2020 off as a bad job, there are many ways to boost your revenue and make it the most wonderful time of the year! Here are 5 ways to maximise Christmas in your venue for 2020.
1. Run multiple sessions.
If this were a race for Christmas number one, this tip would sell out before Jess Glynne could even get a look in. Running different sessions enable you to cater for more guests and increase revenue. You may have relied on evening Christmas parties for the office crowd, but consider packages at different times of day too. A champagne brunch or a bottomless afternoon tea is likely to go just as well as the traditional meat and two veg parties, and it means you can cater for smaller groups.
2. Use your data.
Most hospitality venues have a database but most barely skim the surface of its potential. It’s left to fester like last year’s Brussel sprouts, unloved and unappreciated. But your database could be your secret weapon to more revenue this Christmas. Your database is filled with this festive cracker; people who’ve been to your venue before. Presumably they liked it- why not give them a chance to visit you again this Christmas with one of your new, fancy packages (see above!).
3. Continue takeaway.
Whilst there will be people who are chomping at the bit to get back to your venue for a Christmas tipple and some moreish nibbles, there are others who aren’t quite as keen. Maybe they’re shielding, maybe they’re still nervous at eating out, maybe they have a family of 40. Whatever the reason, don’t let them miss out on Christmas at yours and include your Christmas menu as a takeaway option. Virtual teams gathering for takeaway festive feasts is set to be a big trend this year which you could also capitalise on.
4. Reward not discount.
After the tough year to end all tough years, venues have suffered enough and customers appreciate that. Now isn’t the time to devalue your brand with discounts that make your work unprofitable but to reward customers instead. Introduce a simple loyalty programme that offers rewards that resonate with your clientele based on what they spend.
5. Build for next year.
If all else fails or if all else succeeds, always try and keep your mind on the bigger picture. Before we know it, we’ll be in 2021 and in a whole new year. Your business may have adapted in new, unexpected ways in 2020 but 2021 is the time for your business to not only recover but thrive. Put the plans in place now that will set you up for the New Year. Build on those relationships with any new customers that come through your door and give them a reason to return, get your systems in place that help you to maximise staff and operational efficiency and make those changes you’ve been holding back on. In 2021, there will be winners and losers, make sure your venue is one of the winners.
Welcome to 2020, when customers are few and restrictions are plenty. The days of bars packed to the gills and diners squeezed into restaurants may be over, for now at least, but actually there’s a lot to be positive about too. Like loyalty. In 2020, loyalty should be your very best friend, as should your customer. It’s your job to make coming to your venue something they want to do again and again. Loyal customers do the marketing for you, and give your business resilience to weather the current storm and be a brand to be reckoned with in 2021 and beyond. Still not convinced? Here are 5 reasons to make loyalty your ultimate goal (and the technology you need to achieve it).
- You don’t need loyalty cards anymore. Let’s face it, most venues have tried (or at least thought about) introducing a loyalty scheme. But you have the hassle of the plastic loyalty cards, and customers always forget them. It turns out to be more trouble than it’s worth. Enter the modern day Booked it loyalty scheme. No loyalty cards at all. Customer register their Visa or Mastercard and every time they visit your place and swipe their card, they earn their loyalty points. Simple but very effective!
- It’s about spend not visits. Sure, it’s great to see your customers, but what is really going to impact your bottom line is what they spend on each visit. Unlike other loyalty schemes, the Booked it loyalty programme rewards customers on spend not visits. So you can increase your customers’ spend by around 13%. Now we’re talking.
- You get check out your vital stats. Admit it, you’d love to see where your customers hang out when they’re not at your venue. And with the loyalty programme from Booked it, you can. You can also compare your vital stats like dwell time, average spend, drinks per round or male to female ratio from the app. All essential information that you can use to hone your product offering and drive your venue up the rankings all the way to number one for your area.
- It’s a way of thanking customers for supporting you. Everyone loves a thank you, customers too and with the Booked it loyalty programme you can show customers the love with rewards and offers they’ll appreciated. If they’ve ventured out and supported your venue through the lean times of 2020, maybe it’s time to show your thanks.
- Rewards that work. A reward is only valued when it’s valuable to the customer. Sounds simple but many venues miss this basic step when they try to encourage loyalty with customers. Through the Booked it loyalty programme you can use the data you collect to create a more personalised, tailored loyalty programme with our fully GDPR compliant service. See what they like to eat and drink and reward them with more of what they really want.